Top 8 Platform Games for Android

I bet it would be quite the trip for the developers of those early platformers like Super Mario Bros. to look into the future and find us still playing platform games, some 30 years on. That is indeed the case however, for there is a whole host of fascinating platform games to get your hands on from the Play Store right now and this number only keeps increasing. It’s hard to say why platform games are still so popular, but the success of retro gaming seems to have something to do with it. I’d also suggest that mobile gaming as a platform is ideally suited to the average platformer, since most people will turn their smartphone sideways to play it and platform games obviously suit this horizontal scrolling screen like no other genre. But which are the Android platform games that you should be checking out for your device? There are some classics that have been ported over, and also some that have been only recently developed but are clearly inspired. We recently took these for a spin and this list is the result!

8. Gunbrick ($2.99)

Some of the entries on this list will be up for debate in terms of whether or not they should be considered platformers, so we’ll throw all doubt out of the window with this first entry. Gunbrick coudln’t be anything other than a pure platformer; it’s a game that exudes arcade and retro elements, with a bright approach to visuals and fast paced gameplay that will keep you coming back for more. – Download from Google Play

7. The Cave ($2.99)

The Cave is a game that initially reminded me of LIMBO (more on that below) but it deserves to stand on its own as an inventive and exciting platformer. The game was develope by Double Fine Productions who take an interesting route here by putting the player in charge of several characters, each with their own story as they progress through a cave. It sounds less exciting than it is, of course, and the best part of the game is when these characters come together and you must switch between them in order to progress – using the attributes unique to each character in order to get past obstacles. – Download from Google Play

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6. Leo’s Fortune ($4.99)

Leo’s Fortune would I suppoose qualify as a modern platformer since it takes age old elements of the genre and gives it all a new sheen. The game demoed at the Google I/O 2014 on the Android TV and has since then picked up a dedicated following and plenty of awards along the way. There is something of a steampunk theme here which I’ve never fully been able to get my head around, but that takes nothing away from the gameplay which is a joy and offers a nice nod to more classic platformers on consoles. There is also a difficulty level on each… level that you play, meaning you can come back to them a number of times. – Download from Google Play

5. Waking Mars ($2.99)

Waking Mars stands alone on this list of platformers as a unique approach to the genre, which is perhaps quite fitting given the nature of the story and its protagonist. Rather than jumping through levels and killing baddies on the way, here you control a lone astronaut who must simply sow seeds in order to maintain life on the planet. The best thing about the game is the ethereal atmosphere it presents, since the side scrolling nature of the game always leaves you feeling as if an enemy will jump out at any moment and it becomes unnerving when that doesn’t happen. Oddly enough, the game reminds me of the old ECCO the Dolphin game on consoles, since it was also a kind of platformer but without the typical platformer mechanics and with an odd ethereal atmosphere to it. – Download from Google Play

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4. Thomas Was Alone ($5.99)

Thomas Was Alone is a game that I often find it difficult to describe to others. I mean, it’s a platformer but one made up of blocks rather than sprites. I will typically revert to using the term minimalist in this case, as if that somehow excuses others from properly understanding the game, but that would not do it the credit that it deserves. Yes, Thomas Was Alone is stripped of artifice and distractions and yes there are some users playing the game right now that won’t understand it, but that’s not to say the game experience isn’t completely unique in the best possible way. There was a general consensus that given its popularity as an indie console game, Thomas  was Alone simply wouldn’t make it to the smartphone without losing some of its charm but we can confirm that this is largely intact here, making it one of the more unique platformers you will ever play and a must buy if you’re looking for exciting games that think outside the box. – Download from Google Play

3. LIMBO ($4.99)

LIMBO is one of those games for which platforms like the Xbox Live Arcade were made for. Small budget indie titles that offer little more than a basic concept to go on, but do more with that basic concept than some console blockbusters with million dollar budgets. There is a decent enough argument for LIMBO being anything other than a platformer, but you are running and jumping from platform to platform at one point so that’s good enough for us. The controls to this Android version of the game work pretty well in hindsight, though there’s something about the game that begs for it to be played on a large TV with the lights turned off. Few side scrolling games I’ve ever played are as atmospheric and as creepy as this one!- Download from Google Play

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2. VVVVVV ($2.99)

VVVVVV by Terry Cavanagh is one of the more difficult platformers you will come across, on Android or on just about any other working system under the sun. At first glance it looks like the kind of basic platformer you might have been playing in the 1980s, though VVVVVV probably couldn’t have existed at any other time than the present. I love the gravity control system that is central to the game, and its need for precision might lead to some steering clear of this Android port but it actually controls very well indeed. – Download from Google Play

1. EDGE Extended ($2.99)

EDGE would I suppose qualify as a platformer since you are moving a cube along a generally flat surface, but the jury is still out on that one. The game offers an isometric view as well which is obviously different to the average 2D platformer; there is the hint of 3D here but it’s not true 3D. Still, that takes nothing away from the game itself which is insanely addictive and especially when played with a device like the Nintendo 3DS. Android users have EDGE Extended which offers much of the same but with more levels. There is a strong sense of problem solving here with creative puzzles that let you sit back and work them out at the beginning but become more fast paced as the game goes on. – Download from Google Play

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